29 April 2016

Our Focus

Where is our focus today? Is it on the bright and beautiful things in the world, or on the problems and difficulties that we're experiencing? It's very easy to focus on the latter, isn't it? If someone says something rude to us, it's easy to keep it in our minds for hours, even, while if we pass a scene of beauty, we're lucky to hold on to the image for half an hour. Sometimes I think that we choose to hold on to the negative things to make ourselves feel somehow victimized, as if that will help us to explain why life isn't going perfectly for us or it will give us an excuse for not being in high spirits. As if we need an excuse!

Sometimes it's important to focus on the problems, especially if we want to do something about them. If we want to solve a problem or figure out how it came to be, we need to focus on it and work on it. But most of us don't focus on our problems with the intent of doing something about them--we complain about them, stress over them, get angry about them, or think about them in just about any way other than a positive, pro-active way. When we do that, we're inviting our problems into our homes as uninhibited guests who really do have no respect at all for the place they're visiting--and they turn it into a nightmarish place of stress and frustration.

We need to learn how to relegate those problems to their proper place in our minds, and one of the ways we can do that is to keep in mind the positive things in life, too. We can think about the beautiful butterfly we saw land on the flower this morning instead of the rude person on their cell phone in the cafe. We can think about the nice thing someone said to us yesterday instead of the nasty comment that criticized us. There are many things in life that are a matter of choice, and what we allow to stay in the forefront of our minds is one of those things. Let some things pass through your mind and right back out again. Keep other things to help yourself to feel better about your life, your day, your self and your place in the world.

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